When you find yourself yearning for change, breaking away from machines and heading back into nature is one of the best ways to get back in touch with the earth.
However, you can’t just jump in the car and go. To hike safely, you’ll need to have supplies and hiking gear on hand.
If you’re not sure what hiking essentials you should pack for your trip, be sure to keep reading for some of the necessities that you’ll need while spending time in the great outdoors.
When you’re on top of a mountain or 5 miles into the woods, the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable. Ensuring you have the proper attire can keep you from cutting your journey short.
You’ll want to start with a solid base layer. You’ll want to avoid cotton shirts, as when they get wet, they can hold on to water and chill you more. Choosing wool or polyester fabrics can wick sweat and keep you warm.
Weather plays a significant role in dictating what clothing you should wear while hiking. On rainy days, you’ll want to opt for waterproof clothing to keep you comfortable while spending time in nature.
For example, in the summer, you’ll want to choose sweat-wicking, light materials that don’t hold moisture. In the colder months, you’ll need to layer up. Layers allow you to stay insulated and protect you from the elements.
When it comes to your feet, you’ll want to wear wool socks, as they help prevent foot sweat, provide cushioning, and keep your feet dry from rain or puddles.
In terms of shoes, you’ll want to choose an option that’s intended for rough terrain; your gym sneakers won’t cut it! You’ll want to pick an option that keeps your feet insulated, absorbs shocks, and are comfortable.
You can choose boots, but those might grow heavy after a while. You can also opt for lightweight sneakers like Gore-Tex sneakers. You can learn more about Gore Tex shoes to determine why you should grab a pair!
No matter what shoes you wear, you’ll want to break them in before you hit the trails. Uncomfortable shoes can leave your feet bruised, blistered, and in pain.
When it comes to day hiking, you’ll need to keep a few tools on hand.
These tools include a flashlight, in order to illuminate your pathway should you find yourself in the dark.
Similarly, you’ll want to have a firestarter, like flint or matches. However, these should only be used in case of an emergency, as wildfires can be devastating to ecosystems.
You may also want to bring a pair of hiking sticks to help you keep your balance and navigate tough terrain. These sticks also help with joint issues, as they can alleviate some of the stress your body endures while hiking.
Finally, you’ll want to keep a multipurpose knife on hand. Though you might never use it, it’s always helpful to have a small, functional tool on hand while in the middle of the woods.
Another important thing to keep on hand when day hiking is navigation tools. Though you may have your phone with GPS on it, when you’re deep in the woods, odds are you won’t have great service.
You’ll want to have a paper map of the trails and areas that you’ll be hiking. Before you go, you should also research the areas you’ll be journeying through in order to have an idea of where you’ll be hiking.
Keeping a compass on hand can help you easily geolocate yourself and help you find the correct direction to travel after consulting your map.
Though hiking allows you to stay in tune with nature, you’ll need to take some precautions in order to stay healthy while on the trails.
The basics include hand sanitizer, baby wipes, and any medications you may need. Similarly, you also may need
The first thing you should have on hand is a heavy-duty bug spray. While mosquitos are a nuisance, ticks can pose a more serious issue.
On the topic of ticks, you’ll also want to have a tick remover on hand in case you find one on your skin or clothing. This helps you safely remove the bug without having to touch it.
Similarly, you’ll want to keep sunscreen on hand. This is vital to protecting your skin from harsh UV rays that can give you serious burns. Sunscreen should be reapplied frequently!
While you hope to never use these products, having emergency items on hand can help you in any crisis situation.
You’ll want to have a first aid kit stocked with necessary medical supplies on hand. As you travel the outdoor terrain, slips, falls, and subsequent scraps can happen.
Keeping bandages, gauze, antibacterial ointment, and tweezers on hand can help you clean and dress any cuts you may get while hiking.
Also, you’ll want to keep a backup phone battery and whistle on hand. In case you get lost, a whistle can help rescuers locate you easier.
Food and Water
Finally, you’ll need to ensure you keep enough food and water on hand. When day hiking, staying hydrated and nourished can help prevent you from becoming dehydrated.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to have two cups of water with you for every hour you plan on hiking. So, for a three-hour hike, you should have six cups of water. Don’t be afraid to keep an extra water bottle in your pack.
In terms of food, you’ll want to bring nutrient-dense food with you to help replenish what you’re losing while hiking. Foods like nuts, granola, fruit, and dried meat can help keep your body nourished.
Hiking Essentials to Help You Rock Your Hike
Hiking is a great way to break out of your daily grind, clear your head, and reconnect with nature.
Before you head out, be sure to check your hiking checklist and tell a trusted friend or even a park ranger your plans. This includes the trail you plan to take and your estimated return time and ensures your safety.
If you found this guide to the hiking essentials you’ll need to hit the trails informative, be sure to visit the rest of our website. There, you’ll find more great lifestyle tips and tricks.